To become physicians, students have two options: become a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). MD schools are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Graduate Medical Education (LCME) while DO schools are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Despite a historical stigma against osteopathic medicine, today graduates of both programs are licensed in all states and students in both schools complete a required residency program. MD’s practice what is known as allopathic medicine and make up the majority of physicians today; however, the number of DO’s is rapidly expanding. Modern osteopathic training is very similar to MD programs but with the addition of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM),  a type of manual therapy. Additionally, osteopathic physicians are typically taught to think holistically and are trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT); this may be why a greater percentage of DO’s than MD’s pursue careers in primary care medicine. In recent years however, the trend for osteopathic physicians has been to perform less OMT and to prescribe other, allopathic treatments. The number of osteopathic schools in the United States is growing as the perceived differences between allopathic and osteopathic physicians continue to narrow.

"After more than a century of often bitterly contentious relationships between the osteopathic and allopathic medical professions, we now find ourselves living at a time when osteopathic and allopathic graduates are both sought after by many of the same residency programs; are in most instances both licensed by the same licensing boards; are both privileged by many of the same hospitals; and are found in appreciable numbers on the faculties of each other's medical schools."
Jordan Cohen, President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 2005